These Epic Hot Springs Adventures Are Worth the Hike
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Stunning photos of steaming hot springs in places like Iceland, Italy, and Turkey litter social media feeds. But you don’t need a passport or even a plane ticket to find geothermal pools. There are (literal) hot spots throughout the U.S. that’ve capitalized on pools heated by volcanic bedrock.
Spa resorts like Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa in New Mexico, the restored ghost town of Dunton Hot Springs Resort in Colorado, and the former gold miner’s resort at Chena Hot Springs in Alaska offer that natural experience with all kinds of luxury amenities.
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And if you’re the kind of traveler who prefers to work for your rewards, hot springs closer to home can be a one-two punch of adventure: the journey getting to a remote location and the joy of taking a dip in what’s essentially nature’s spa.
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Out in the wild, the privilege of soaking is (mostly) free—and it helps, of course, that the minerals in those springs like calcium, sodium bicarbonate, silica, and sulfur, come with their own recovery benefits. Research shows they can help everything from your skin to your mental state.
FYI: Most of these hot springs are clothing optional, so know that you may find other travelers really embracing that “one with nature” mentality at the end of your trek. Note that certain hot springs require permits, fees, and/or reservations; others are only accessible in certain months or seasons; and some can experience environmental changes that will prohibit visitors, like heavy snowfall and road closures. Read each destination’s website for status updates and warnings before you visit. Some of the waters can also infect visitors with bacteria, so take care to never submerge your head underwater.
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